Your guide to making creepy Halloween cocktails

by DGO Web Administrator

Ah, Halloween. One of the few nights of the year where it’s completely acceptable to be anyone other than yourself. I hate dressing up, so you won’t find me in costume, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find a cocktail in my hand. Is it going to be a themed cocktail? Probably, because I’ll take any excuse to amp up the party vibe (even for a party I’m barely participating in). It’s as easy as swapping in tonic water for soda water or playing around with a few fun garnishes, so why not give it a try?

Glow in the dark cocktailsThis might not be an option for you. Consider whether you’re throwing a party in a place you really don’t want to see under a blacklight. If you to dare to use one, the quinine in tonic water glows blue under the ultraviolet light. Plus, it’ll keep your party malaria-free, which is definitely an added bonus! To make a set of glowing cocktails, you can also utilize vitamin B (which glows yellow). Grind up a B-complex pill or dump out the contents of a capsule and add it to your favorite drink. If that concept freaks you out, look for any vitamin B-containing energy drink instead.

Then, have some fun with science by creating new colors. Blue tonic and yellow vitamin B make green, or add pink lemonade to tonic and create a vibrant purple. Adding orange juice to your glowing yellow cocktail would make it a vibrant gold, or use a dark mixer with tonic (like Coke or Kahlua) to give the drink a subtle shimmer. Play around with other colorful combinations!

Getting creepy with colorsIf the black light isn’t your deal, you can still make creepily-colorful cocktails by mixing in liqueurs – like blue curacao, reddish-purplish crème de cassis, or green Midori. You could also go the food coloring route; a few drops of the stuff in clear liquors like vodka will give you any color you’d like. If you’re feeling adventurous, adding squid ink to your favorite dark-colored cocktails will make them as black as night.

You can really get fancy by picking up a bottle of edible glitter (called Petal Luster Dust). Remember that article a few months back about glitter beer? Yeah, you can do that at home.

Use that luster to create your very own shimmering liqueur, a shame-free alternative to buying a bottle of Viniq at the liquor store.

Think about garnishYou don’t have to be a mixologist to make a creepy cocktail. Capture the Halloween vibe with something as simple as the garnish. Topping a cocktail with powdered dry ice will add a smoky finish to your drink without much extra effort. You could also make a traditional drink like a martini and garnish it with a gummy eyeball instead of an olive for effect. Even easier: Give any glass a ring of colorful sanding sugar or salt. Again with the food coloring – you guys are going to have so much fun this year with that stuff!

Remember Jello shots?Are Jello shots something best left behind with our college years? Maybe, but if you’re decked out head-to-toe in costume, you might as well be doing it with a shooter in your hand. Plus, talk about a good excuse to take Jello to an 11. Have some fun making layered Jello shots that resemble candy corn, or use our glow-in-the-dark tips to make them iridescent. It could even be as simple as floating a gummy eyeball or worm into a regular Jello shot.

If you can’t stand the thought of glugging down a shooter, think outside the cup. Look for Jello molds in the shape of brains, bugs, bats, or witches. You could also make the most sophisticated Jello shooters on the block by turning pumpkin pie into a slice-shaped shot.

Mini Pumpkin Pie Jello ShotsMakes 24 shots when quartered

6 Keebler mini graham-cracker pie crusts

1 cup water (plus an additional 1/4 cup water)

1-1/2 envelopes Knox gelatin

1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup rum (or vodka, if you prefer)

1-1/2 teaspoons heavy cream

1. Pre-bake the mini pie crusts according to the package directions and let cool.

2. Pour 1 cup of the water into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin packets on top. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes to let the gelatin bloom.

3. Add the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and sugar, and heat the mixture over medium-high heat. Whisk until the sugar is melted and remove the mixture from the heat. Allow it to cool.

4. Add the rum, remaining 1/4 cup of water, and heavy cream to the pumpkin mixture and stir until everything is well combined.

5. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the pie crusts and refrigerate overnight. Quarter the pies to create slice-shaped servings.

Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef and food writer living in Durango. She enjoys long walks in the woods, the simplicity of New York-style cheese pizza, and she’s completely addicted to Chapstick. Contact her at [email protected]


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